One of the highest achieving members of Huntington High School’s Class of 2018, John Riley garnered many awards in recognition of his splendid accomplishments. Two of the honors that he captured were the County Executive’s Public Service Award and the Technology Award.
Mr. Riley plans to pursue an engineering degree at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He is well positioned for the rigors of college both in and out of the classroom.
The teenager attained the rank of Eagle Scout at the young age of 14. It’s a perfect example of his ability to master every challenge and do so in impressive fashion.
The Huntington robotics team’s head mechanical technician for two years and the organization’s chief technology officer as a junior and senior, Mr. Riley’s powerful intellect, creativity and problem-solving expertise helped propel the Blue Devils to repeated trips to the FIRST Robotics World Championships.
Mr. Riley’s talents extend across every possible discipline. His work was chosen for display at the district’s annual art show. He ran on the winter and spring track and field teams. He played cello in the school orchestra. He helped raise funds at Relay For Life by selling smoothies and coffee and staying through the night.
A straight A student, Mr. Riley gained membership is many academic honor societies. He participated in WPI’s two-week pre-collegiate summer program prior to his senior year, completing classes in robotics engineering and the history of technology. He was a member of a three-person team that had four days to complete the design, construction and programming of a robot. Mr. Riley’s team finished in first place in a field of 17 competing teams.
Recipient of the New York State Archives Research Award, Mr. Riley has won local, regional and state honors in the National History Day competition. His 10 minute historical documentaries titled Dean Kamen: A Modern Day Explorer Exchanging Innovation with the World and Daniel Ellsberg & the Power of the Papers are Huntington NHD program legends.
The teenager completed the Vaughn College/Composite Prototyping Center’s STEM high school composite technology program that involved working with the newest composite material technology as applied to the aeronautic and automobile industries.
A peer mentor to teenagers with autism spectrum disorder, Mr. Riley met weekly in a group setting and assisted program participants with the social and communication skills in a relaxed, fun and safe atmosphere. The initiative included field trips to local parks, miniature golf and even New York City.
Mr. Riley also participated in substantial community outreach with Huntington Robotics, including charitable endeavors and educational programs with elementary school students.
With Boy Scouts Troop 78, Mr. Riley participated in the Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative, which provides nightly food and shelter. He spent years volunteering as a cook in the program. He’s also assisted St. Patrick Church’s Trocaire food drive.
On behalf of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Huntington High School guidance counselor Catherine Croke presented Mr. Riley with the County Executive’s Public Service Award. Huntington Principal Brenden Cusack presented the teenager with the Technology Award. Both presentations were made at the annual senior academic awards ceremony in the high school auditorium.